lost motivation/mixed emotions over new horse

pippixox

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Hi. I have not been on this forum for a few years but always found it great for advise and sometimes getting an outsider's opinion

A year ago I lost my old boy. His body was struggling and I made the hardest but best decision for him. I still have my spotty mare who is 18 and happy hacker.
By coincidence the same week I got a message from the trainer who had my old boy as a racer nearly 15 years ago (family friend) saying he had a popet of a mare who was too slow and would I be after another horse? (He did not know I had just had to PTS Gilly). I went to see her and she came to the yard a few days later!

She is only 4 now and the last year have just had a little play with her and given her time to grow (think she is 17 hands now!). She is a good horse. Other than if we try tiny hacks without company, but that is understandable. The problem is I sometimes feel she would be better in another home with more time. I used to like a challenge but feel like since kids and being used to my old reliable horses I have lost my brave pants!

Has anyone else ever felt this way? Did you work through it and it all worked out in the end? Or did you sell? At the same time my mind goes she is what you want in a year or two and there is no rush, plus I love my older mare but sometimes struggle again with motivation as she is like a comfy old arm chair and wants a slower pace (although that does mostly suit me!) I think I just felt more nervous than I liked to admit the last couple of calm group hacks I went on and that's not a fun feeling

Sorry bit of a ramble.
I also happen to know someone looking for a horse like my young one which has planted the seed of doubt even more today as a good home is paramount
 

ycbm

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I sold, very recently. I also bought as a rebound reaction and picked her up the afternoon my other horse was PTS. I backed her, but in spite of it being a 5 year dream to own a PRE, we never gelled. I didn't feel "right" on her, she didn't "fit" me and eventually I didn't ride her enough to justify owning her and she was wasted as a very second string. She deserved a better owner.

We're coming into winter and you'll have extra work looking after a horse you don't feel committed to. I would offer her for sale and see how you feel about it when you get some interest.

There will be another horse out there when you want to pick things up again, especially if you have the skill to retrain ex racers direct from the trainer.
.
 
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fankino04

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Bit different but after a few years out of the saddle (my horse of a lifetime had been retired for 2 years then PTS after a freak field accident), I felt my world was missing having a horse in it, I'd loved the bond I had with Gee as I'd broke her in etc and wanted that again. Sadly I think the time out of the saddle and the increase in age had effected my nerves more than I thought and when I got my new girl it just wasn't right. I was too stubborn to admit that so made myself keep going and ended up really not enjoying riding, she has been a field ornament for about 10 years now. If I was a stronger person I would have loaned or sold her.
 

CMcC

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I have a lovely pony, she is now retired but I always felt I didn’t do enough with her (lack of time, not brave enough to jump which is what she loved). My instructor used to say to me, “No horse/pony stands in the field and says “I wish I was jumping at Hickstead today, I am wasting my life!”.
Give yourself some more time to find out what you and your very young mare might do together.
 

pippixox

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I sold, very recently. I also bought as a rebound reaction and picked her up the afternoon my other horse was PTS. I backed her, but in spite of it being a 5 year dream to own a PRE, we never gelled. I didn't feel "right" on her, she didn't "fit" me and eventually I didn't ride her enough to justify owning her and she was wasted as a very second string. She deserved a better owner.

We're coming into winter and you'll have extra work looking after a horse you don't feel committed to. I would offer her for sale and see how you feel about it when you get some interest.

There will be another horse out there when you want to pick things up again, especially if you have the skill to retrain ex racers direct from the trainer.
.
I think part of my issue is I doubt my ability, although she is no trouble and raced slowly for one year only! any 'misbehaving' is typical 4 year old mare. But the last time I backed anything was 5 years ago before my 2 kids and think I lack my brave pants and skills are rusty. I dreamed of a horse like her, although she arrived far too soon. thoughts keep yo-yoing everywhere. I just feel nervous instead of excited by her forward nature.

doesnt help I am also a student midwife about to go into second year with even more stress and less time. but then again I used ot always like a project and a reason to spend more time at the yard!
 

pippixox

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I have a lovely pony, she is now retired but I always felt I didn’t do enough with her (lack of time, not brave enough to jump which is what she loved). My instructor used to say to me, “No horse/pony stands in the field and says “I wish I was jumping at Hickstead today, I am wasting my life!”.
Give yourself some more time to find out what you and your very young mare might do together.
Yes I have been telling myself that, and so does my friend, I could barely touch her for a few years and she has settled well in a mixed herd. But at the same time she seems very content when heading out on a hack to explore (when in company!)
 

littleshetland

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Sounds like you've gone from a couple of old and trusted friends back to 'full of beans' 4 year old....no wonder you're having a wobble. It was probably a wee bit too soon after your old boy went to acquire a new one, but I think most of us have been there. There would be absolutely no shame in moving her on if she's not for you. Hope it works out ok for you.
 

MuddyMonster

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For me, I think there are a couple of things here.

Do you want to do more or is owning a horse as a pet enough for you?

If you're happy with her as is, there's no need to change anything - being a well loved pet that hacks every now and then (or not) is just a validating as being a horse that's out doing something every week :)

But if you want to do more, do you see your mare becoming a horse you want to ride and be with in 12 months time if you worked really, really hard?

If no, I'd cut my losses and sell to focus on finding a horse that suits you now.

If you do see her potential, do you realistically have the time, confidence and money to invest in say lessons, perhaps schooling and so on to get there? If not, again, I'd sell to find another that suits you better.

Do you want to do it?

Theres no shame in selling to find another more suitable (says I, who only didnt sell my very 'naughty' 5 year old because I was far too sentimental 🤣). I dont regret the hard graft I put in to make my youngster a great horse now - but I wouldn't want to repeat it to the same extent now I'm a bit older, a bit less inclined to bounce and far more time strapped. My life's and commitments are too different to ten years ago!
 
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Would it be worth having a trainer come and give you a few lessons? I have a 4yo too and mostly hack with little bits in the school but had some fortnightly lessons and they were so much fun as he was so receptive and I felt so motivated to ride afterwards. Also, the more I ride, the more I want to ride! 4yo’s can be a pain but having someone on the ground encouraging you to ride through silliness is great.x
 

Art Nouveau

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I'd be inclined to sell, especially if the person you mentioned would be a good home.
I have a toddler, and a second on the way and I know my next horse will need to be one that's confidence boosting as I've been out of the saddle for so long. My muscle strength and coordination isn't what it used to be, I don't think I'd want to ride a 17hh youngster! With the added stress of exams I'd definitely be looking for a horse that inspires and excites me, and isn't an additional worry in any way.

Alternatively, she is still young enough to wait and see, so you could still sit it out for a bit and see how you feel in spring
 

Trouper

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How sad would you be to see her go? If there is any sense of relief that she is going to a good home to start her ridden career and that you will have more time to devote to your studies, then I think you have your answer. If you would be really upset to lose her, then there is no problem in leaving her for another year until you are ready to pick her up.

Sometimes timing is pants. There is a horse that has drifted into and out of my life more than once but our circumstances/availability never coincided and she is now settled where she is just when she would have been perfect for me. It is just one of those regrets that I have to live with so all I would add is - be certain that you are not going to have any regrets.
 

Red-1

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Recently bought into cob culture.
I once bought a fabulous horse. She was amazing. She was here for 6 days. I hated riding her! She did nothing wrong, but I had a pit of doom in my tummy, so after 6 days she was away to a friend's yard to be produced for sale. She was there for a month, they got her schooling polished, titivated her jumping, took her to a couple of shows, we did a good sales video and she sold to the first viewer. I had nothing but relief.

I think I lost about £1,500 in vets exam, transport, livery, show fees, advert etc, but it was worth the slight inconvenience. I have no idea why it felt like that. She was, on paper, OK for me. I liked her when I tried her. I schooled, jumped, took her for a canter in a big field. Once home, I had a complete 360.

The new one I have now (been here about 3 weeks), he is a 4yo, bought unseen from Ireland. That was a big risk! I was nervous that the same might happen, but he is ace. A big galump. He makes me smile. He is greener that I "should" want. Younger than I "should" want. No experience to speak of. He is definitely more of a grey colour than I ever wanted (!!! LOL). However, I look forward to riding him every single day. He is staying.

Thinking of it, when I got Rigsby, my aged cob, he was older than I should want. He was sicker than I think anyone would want! He was defiant and ruder than people would want too. But, he too made me smile every day.

Not getting on with this one doesn't mean that you need to give up on your dream.
 

Red-1

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Recently bought into cob culture.
I sold, very recently. I also bought as a rebound reaction and picked her up the afternoon my other horse was PTS. I backed her, but in spite of it being a 5 year dream to own a PRE, we never gelled. I didn't feel "right" on her, she didn't "fit" me and eventually I didn't ride her enough to justify owning her and she was wasted as a very second string. She deserved a better owner.

We're coming into winter and you'll have extra work looking after a horse you don't feel committed to. I would offer her for sale and see how you feel about it when you get some interest.

There will be another horse out there when you want to pick things up again, especially if you have the skill to retrain ex racers direct from the trainer.
.
As an aside, I saw her advert and thought she was presented beautifully.
 

ycbm

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As an aside, I saw her advert and thought she was presented beautifully.
Thank you. I wanted to be honest about how green she was and used video that showed exactly how green she was and STILL had half a dozen viewers waxing lyrical over how beatiful she was, then turning her down because she was ...... too green.

To go back to the OP, I have felt nothing but relief since she left. I backed my 3 year old yesterday and felt "at home" as soon as my bum was in the saddle.
.
 

eahotson

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merseyside
Some
Hi. I have not been on this forum for a few years but always found it great for advise and sometimes getting an outsider's opinion

A year ago I lost my old boy. His body was struggling and I made the hardest but best decision for him. I still have my spotty mare who is 18 and happy hacker.
By coincidence the same week I got a message from the trainer who had my old boy as a racer nearly 15 years ago (family friend) saying he had a popet of a mare who was too slow and would I be after another horse? (He did not know I had just had to PTS Gilly). I went to see her and she came to the yard a few days later!

She is only 4 now and the last year have just had a little play with her and given her time to grow (think she is 17 hands now!). She is a good horse. Other than if we try tiny hacks without company, but that is understandable. The problem is I sometimes feel she would be better in another home with more time. I used to like a challenge but feel like since kids and being used to my old reliable horses I have lost my brave pants!

Has anyone else ever felt this way? Did you work through it and it all worked out in the end? Or did you sell? At the same time my mind goes she is what you want in a year or two and there is no rush, plus I love my older mare but sometimes struggle again with motivation as she is like a comfy old arm chair and wants a slower pace (although that does mostly suit me!) I think I just felt more nervous than I liked to admit the last couple of calm group hacks I went on and that's not a fun feeling

Sorry bit of a ramble.
I also happen to know someone looking for a horse like my young one which has planted the seed of doubt even more today as a good home is paramount
Someone once said to me when I was struggling with a horse that I wasn't getting on with, "Out there is the perfect home for him and Out there is the perfect horse for you." This proved absolutely correct.
 

eahotson

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Some

Someone once said to me when I was struggling with a horse that I wasn't getting on with, "Out there is the perfect home for him and Out there is the perfect horse for you." This proved absolutely correct.
Just also to say that it may be better to rehome him and then sit down and think about what you really want.Our needs to change over the years.
 

Old school

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You are great for acknowledging that it is not a perfect fit. I see so many struggling rather than admit it is not a fit. When my nerve was shot after children, I found an unwanted Connie, because he had a stop in him. However he is very very safe. He is the family heart horse. He got my confidence back. He has evented affiliated 100 now and has good results at big shows. So confidence was restored. Now we have some sharper models and I am ok with that. So taking time out on a steady needy helped hugely. Second thing is I have a coach/instructor who is seriously old school. This has meant that we are blue in the face doing the basics . But that means we are fully prepared for any outings. Again, this is instrumental in building confidence. Thirdly, after riding for 30+ years, I had to deep down accept that serious hard work on my riding was absolutely necessary in order to feel safe and confident. This is still a work in progress. I guess in a long winded way, there are so many components needed to get that gel feeling with a horse. For me, part three was the hardest to accept, but is now the most fulfilling. God, I think I need a G and T after that ramble......
 

Zuzan

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Whilst now may not be the perfect time .. in a few years she will be more mature and you will, it sounds, be better placed to spend more time and effort .. there is a vast difference in a 4 and 6 yo mentally and as long as you keep going with the low level stuff in the meantime.. have a few lessons (even some ground work lessons etc) ..

As someone up thread suggested have a few lessons and talk it through with your instructor.. Whatever take your time to decide.

What I would do and this I found has made a VAST difference to me as a on "older" rider is Pilates Pilates Pilates... it makes getting back into the saddle so much easier.. and is so worth investing the time and money in as has much wider health benefits too. I do 1:1 sessions as well as classes .. all have been online of course.
 

pippixox

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9 April 2013
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1,860
thanks for all the replies.

she really is a poppet and I just chilled with her this morning having a nice groom in the sunshine and felt like crying even thinking about selling her. Although I am of course careful, she is gentle with my children and easy to keep (ignoring cost and time of 2!) but other days I doubt myself more.

I am lucky that I have a steady older mare too who provides a calm sane hack when ever needed and keeps me quite fit as she needs to be kept slim due to EMS.
As many have pointed out, she is only 4 and if I wanted I could barely do anything with her for the next couple of years. I dont want to rush anything. But similarly I want to try and keep her ticking over even if just weekly winter hacks as I have known numerous horses left to their own devises for too long who are less co-operative a few years later!

I think it was seeing this relative of a friend looking for a project/ex-racer to bring on that suddenly made me think I'm mad to have 2 horses (although I used to have 4! including 2 youngesters who I backed myself, all be in shorter new forests!) and she would be better off with her. But then I feel attached and start worrying they would rush her and do too much when she is only 4 (I have not mentioned her to this person yet by the way)

4 years ago I sold my new forest mare who I had lightly backed as I did not have the time as she needed and she was ready for more. She is still in that home and doing brilliantly and although she would have been great for me in the future, if I could put in all the work they have, she was not at the time. so I would not say I regret it. But I am struggling to figure out if she is another who is not the right time or if I just need to stop worrying and take it slow and try and actually enjoy the process. my wonderful old boy was a saint but his first year was hard work, followed by 17 amazing years. I also though need to stop making any comparisons as it is not fair on her.

thanks for taking the time to listen to my waffle.
thought I better share photos of her! Doris this summer, and her a week after her last race as a 3 year old!
 

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